U.S. manufacturing activity last month hit a three-year low, and factories in Georgia slowed down, too.
Culprits: Superstorm Sandy and the fiscal cliff.
The decline, while not a surprise, was more severe than expected. Nationally, the Purchasing Manager’s Index, based on a survey of manufacturers, fell to 49.5, the lowest since July 2009. A score below 50 indicates contraction.
In Georgia, the index fell to 46.4 in November, down 5.3 points from October. Most of the underlying components of the index declined, including new orders, production and employment.
State factory activity improved in September after declining for four consecutive months through August, then turned down in October.
Don Sabbarese, director of the Econometric Center at the Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State, said, “We believe this sharp drop can be attributed to the negative effect of … Sandy in the northeast and the uncertainty of Washington’s handling of the fiscal cliff. Until Washington resolves this problem it will remain difficult for manufacturers to plan for the future.”